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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Salmon pakora

A cluster of leftover fish and vegetables bound together by pancake power

Crispy pakora is my family's  favorite

When we were small, my parents often had to rack their brains over what to feed 3 perpetually hungry mouths. Dad, the one with the culinary flare, would conjure new tasty dishes based on leftovers and condiments in the pantry. Though out of necessity rather than brilliance, dad's culinary prowess spoke volumes of  his creativity and skills.

Now, in these times of plenty, I have abandoned all urgency to make the most out of every morsel of available food . Until recently when I saw how a fraction of Singapore's population lived on a single meal a day, I never realized how  wasteful I have been. An assortment of similar flour products in the pantry attracting weevils , canned foods expiring in the bowels of the store room and the list goes on. I even had 2 stone mortars and appliances that did duplicate jobs!

So when a huge salmon was consumed, with only the meaty center bone left, I transformed the flesh clinging onto the bones into a fishy pakora of sorts, Japanese style.

The dish took shape as I walked around the kitchen. A motley ensemble of a leftover pepper, a wrinkly onion, some Daiso furikake from a recent Japanese food craze and a bag of almost forgotten okonomiyaki flour  were dug out and I was ready to go.

The verdict of the pakora : see beyond its humble origins and judge it for its taste. Dad would have been proud of me!

Now, I  wished I had a much bigger fish to start with.

Makes 8 mini Japanese style salmon pakoras.

Ingredients :

2 cups salmon, cooked and fleshed
1 cup okonomiyaki flour
3 salted nori sheets, shredded
1 T furikake, wasabi flavor
1 small onion, julienned
1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method :

In a large mixing bowl, stir and mix all the ingredients except egg. A chopstick is an ideal implement for this job.

Add the egg and stir until every morsel of the fish-flour mixture is moistened.
Let the pakora batter rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a fry pan, with 1 T of canola oil. I do not recommend olive oil because it smokes too easily on the job.

Using 2 tablespoons, drop the pakora batter onto the hot oil.

Pan fry on medium heat until both sides are browned.

To eat, serve with Japanese style tahini sauce ( sesame dip ).

Oishi !

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